Sometimes it’s hard to find that feeling of accomplishment.
There are moments that have that quality, but most of the time I’m on the road and I’m not there yet. I get distracted, sidetracked, lost. The path I choose can get blocked and I have to turn around. Even in the best cases, the feeling of completion happens infrequently. When I’m in the midst of it, it can seem like I’m not getting anywhere.
Over the last few weeks, there were moments when I had a glimmer of accomplishment.
Prior to my daughter’s week at camp, we went to the mall, to do what she loves, shop.
I may have created a bit of this monster in this department. When you have two boys and then a girl, the compulsion to dress them up doesn’t set forth a good model. Perhaps it would have happened regardless of my actions, but her passion for consumption, her pursuit of the sale and her rather ingenious moves to get a clothes she wants is relentless.
The mall can feel like a death march, looking for the just right pair of shoes to go with the dress, which needs to go with something else. But this time, we walked out of the mall in less than an hour. No shopping bags and no complaints. In the car, I take this moment in and drive home.
On Saturday, I picked her up from Y camp where she spent the week as a volunteer counselor. Eight days, seven nights. She’s been a camper since she was eight, but this time she was in charge.
Before I set eyes on her, I heard about it from other counselors. Apparently she was assigned a rather challenging group of middle school girls.
I waited. I knew she was there, waiting with her “kids” until their parents picked them up.
The crowd of parents and children lessened. The piles of luggage and sleeping bags that lined the parking lot diminished. Finally up she walks, tanned and tired. She hugs me and lays her head on my shoulder. I steal a kiss and take that moment in, holding it close.
On the way to our car, advisors and counselors hug her. We walk on, and I look back, making eye contact with her director. I wave goodbye.
She returns the wave and says, “You have raised a really great kid.”
“Thank you!” My daughter looks at me, and I say, “I know.”
I take that moment, drape my arm over my daughter’s shoulder and hold her close.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers blog for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Read more slices and share your own slice here.